Becoming a Personal Protection Officer
Known more commonly as “personal security officers”, Personal Protection Officers perform a variety of duties relating to keeping the public safe. Their primary function is to assume complete responsibility for the personal security of others, and to develop methods which minimize your personal risk factors. These officers also act as a liaison with the police department in regards to any criminal investigations.
Employment as a personal protection officer can be either short term or long term. In some areas, they are employed by private security services exclusively, where in other situations they may be employed by the larger public security service. It is important for an aspiring bodyguard to gain extensive background checks on potential employers prior to engagement. This is a must in order to meet all State and local employment requirements. Background checks can include criminal, arrest, jail and police records; records of current addresses, court reporting, traffic offenses, sex offenses, charges of domestic violence and more.
Training as a personal protection officer is not extensive but consists of basic knowledge of the law, specific training courses and familiarity with specific weapons and equipment. Often, after completing formal training courses and working as an apprenticeship with an experienced bodyguard company, personal security officers can be hired on full-time basis. In most cases, this will be at the local county jail, or county office. However, in a small number of towns, security services have developed contracts with security companies nationwide, who supply guards to multiple locations. In these instances, a background check is required before employment.
A number of states require personal protection officers to undergo a high school diploma in addition to state licensing. Security firms employ officers on a part-time or full-time basis, with a number of patrolmen employed around the clock. Part-time patrolmen earn between twelve and fifteen dollars per day, but their schedules are often contingent on the availability of other full-time officers. Full-time officers receive higher wages, start their day early and are typically assigned on a permanent spot, which is also their schedule. In essence, part-time work for an officer is comparable to a secretary’s duties.
There are several national organizations that provide protection training and certification to personal protection officers. Certified personal protection officers are required to take and pass a comprehensive test covering a number of topics, including state and federal laws, crime enforcement procedures, personal safety tactics and more. Once certified, personal protection officers are required to complete a minimum number of hours of continued education annually. These seminars are generally held in hospitals, police departments or other local organizations. It is possible to become a personal protection officer by taking courses online, but these courses generally lack the intense practical experience most candidates need to successfully complete the exams.
A number of businesses offer training to police officers and other first responders in personal protection. These businesses include some that offer online courses. Many of these businesses have been operating for decades and continue to meet the needs of law enforcement agencies around the country. For those looking for an exciting career that provides a sense of pride in employment and provides the opportunity for progression, becoming a bodyguard or security guard is an ideal choice. Those interested in pursuing a career as a personal protection officer should consider carefully the requirements of the particular agency they will be applying to join. Most agencies require applicants to be at least 21 years old, although many will accept applicants a little older, provided that they can pass a background check and drug test.